Sticky summer weather has struck with a vengeance, and my salad spinner is getting a workout this week. I decided to pull out an old favorite last night, and it just so happens that the ingredient that makes this salad so special fits right in with this week’s theme for the 2009 Summer Fest.
There was a little Greek restaurant I used to frequent when I lived and worked in Detroit, and I probably ordered their “Tommy’s Salad” once or twice a week. At first glance it was a pretty standard Greek salad, with feta and olives and lots of crunchy vegetables, but the addition of copious amounts of fresh dill took it to another level.
I still had plenty of dill at home from Saturday’s farmers’ market at Lippitt Park, and on my way to the train station I swung through the Boston Public Market and grabbed a head of romaine, a few small, super-ripe field tomatoes, and some Diva cucumbers. I had asked Mike to set aside one of the breasts from the Poulet Rouge he cut up for our Sunday chicken dinner, and when I got home I briefly marinated it in a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and salt before searing it in an iron skillet and chopping it into bite-sized chunks. I quick pickled some thinly sliced Chioggia beets and sliced up a few Purplette onions to add to the salad as well, and crumbled up plenty of Narragansett Creamery Salty Sea feta.
The chopped vegetables, chicken and feta all went into a big salad bowl along with a hefty handful of picked dill fronds, then I drizzled on my basic lemon vinaigrette and tossed it all together. I scattered a few Kalamata olives and more fresh dill over our individual portions, and we ate our salads with freshly made pita bread. Not a bad way to beat the heat.